February 11, 2:34 PST, Beachside
I’m sitting here in the car beachside. Truth is, I’ve been here every day for the last several weeks. The only way I’ve discovered to get the little one to sleep without nursing is to drive him around, so we’ve settled into a routine during the day. Four days a week, we drop his brother off at preschool, and the little one gets to play for a while. Then, I coax him out with promises of found treasure (dried leaves on the sidewalk) on the way to the car (alternately, I carry him out screaming because he’d much rather stay at school), and we settle into the car for the afternoon. Some days, we stop in at Starbucks for a (decaf, non-fat) vanilla latte and a scone. Lemon, pumpkin, vanilla even maple oat… he’s actually grown very fond of scones and always wants a “bite” and then “more bite” and then “more.” I hear it all the way to the beach – or until he finally succumbs to sleep, uneaten bite of scone in hand. The last week, it’s been so unbelievably warm and beautiful here that we’ve bypassed the coffee stop, heading straight to the beach, giant bottle of Propel in tow. (He loves Propel, too, so we share that on non-coffee days.)
Then he snoozes for an hour or so peacefully in the car, and I work. I’m actually really self-directed, focused, and disciplined. It made me perfect when I worked full time from home as a writer and freelance developer. I’m not one prone to “playing” when I should be working. Unfortunately, that mentality has hung around during these years where I’ve been mostly a stay-at-home mom. I still find it hard to “play” during the day. When I have free time (nanoseconds here and there), I still “work” even though the “work” isn’t necessarily paying. It makes for a bit of craziness in my head. Probably, if I could just let myself relax and knit or do something trivial during those moments of freedom, I’d be a more peaceful person, but my brain is always “on.”
Except on weekends. On weekends, I tend to leave my computer in the backpack and pull out some knitting or a book and take advantage of the hour or so at the beach.
When we first started this nap routine, and yes, I know it’s sad that we have to resort to this, but weaning is not going well at all, and this works… At any rate, when we first started, I found myself constantly frustrated with the laptop I’m using (remember, my prized and coveted LifeBook suffered a bad fall last year that I’ll never recover from). It would die in less than an hour regardless of how much life it claimed to have, and that “hour” seemed to get progressively shorter. So frustrating. I ranted. I raved. And then one day, I ranted for the millionth time that I really needed to get some kind of car charger for it. “You can get one at Best Buy or Radio Shack or somewhere,” M said, as if I’d never complained before about the sucky laptop battery. I had assumed I’d have to special order such a charger. It never occurred to me it’d be so EASY to solve my problem.
A stop at Best Buy later, and I was all set.
When I was working full time in high tech, I spent the majority of my writing energies covering the mobile market. I wrote about “nomadic” computing and developing technologies targeting people who really were working on the go. I wasn’t one of those people. Today, to some extent, I am. I have to laugh at myself. I sit here beachside, glancing up every now and again to watch the waves crashing in, see the barge on the horizon, watch the parasailers (is that what you call the ones who use a surfboard attached to a parachute-like thing?), and marvel at the constantly moving, twirling, whirling mesmerizing ribbon kites, and then I’m back to work again. I’ve got my laptop plugged into one cigarette outlet and my iPod in the other. I’m all set.
It’s wonderful. I feel like I’m “sitting” a lot, but I have to admit it’s wonderful. I mentioned our daily beach trips to a friend recently. She took one look at me, smiled, and said, “You have a beautiful office.”
It’s a perspective I love, and I’ve really latched onto it.
So, here I sit. Today, I grabbed a Tulley’s latte (not nearly as good as my normal Starbuck’s; disappointing), and I’m listening to Cast-On
#10 #11. I’ve been listening to these for a few weeks. I think I missed bits and pieces of them on days when I’ve been really deep in concentration working on a new puzzle-oriented publication I’m getting ready to launch (if you have kids aged 4-10 and would like to be added to a mailing list for more information, email me), so I want to listen to them again at some point, but I’m really hooked. Brenda Dane has a wonderful podcast voice. That’s I think the real magic of what she’s doing. You can listen to her. She’s soothing. Compelling. Suave. Mellow.
Overall, the show is great, and I’m sure many of you have been listening. Here are a few thoughts… I’ve never been an NPR listener, but I have the feeling this is like NPR for knitters, and it’s simply great fun. It’s great to knit and be able to listen to someone talking “about” knitting in between the musical bits. I love, love, love, the musical intro to the “Today’s Sweater” segment. It’s just great. I love that segment, too. The pod-safe music tends to be really good/interesting. I was surprised one day to hear her on the one hand urge listeners to try out some of the many other knit/craft-related podcasts while at the same time sort of publically ridicule one of the podcasters (suggesting she sit back from the mic a bit to avoid bad “p” noise). It just seemed she could have sent that feedback privately rather than on air. The comment seemed b*tchy and felt too competitive. The essay on “Pulling a Geographic” (episode 6) is one I really want to listen to again. I know I only caught parts of it, but it really hit me hard and pulled at my heartstrings. It was so raw. So poignant. So brave to put it out there. So powerful. If you haven’t listened to it, do so. I loved the guest essay about knitters taking over the world. When it started, I was skeptical, but by the end, I was marveling at the writer’s wit and political savvy. It was great. I love the “If you’re cold, put on a sweater; that’s what they are for” tagline. But, okay, the one thing that drives me most crazy and makes me feel conflicted about Cast-On despite my compulsion to listen to it, is that Brenda isn’t a blog-reader. Shouldn’t she be?
Today, she mentioned that her Kiri shawl (already started) is her project for the Knitting Olympics. I had to laugh to myself. Mommio is knitting Kiri, too, and I had been thinking just today while I sat here in the car knitting a few rows on my second Jaywalker (working to finish them up by 2/14 for the knitalong deadline), that I should just throw it all to the wind and start Kiri (although, darnit, I hate to feel like a Mommio-shadow! Mommio knits SO much and so beautifully and often knits things I’m considering making “someday.”). I bought Crystal Palace Kid Merino yarn last fall when Mom was here with Kiri in mind. I was using a gift certificate, and I saw the yarn – which is comparable to the Kid Silk Haze - and thought of Kiri. I wasn’t sure offhand how much yarn I needed though, so I only bought two skeins. Turns out the pattern uses three. I’m not sure that I won’t need more, and that’s partly why I’m tempted to start it, even though otherwise I would NOT start a new shawl until I finish my Shoalwater. But, part of me says that if I go ahead and work on it now, then if I don’t have enough, I stand a good chance of being able to pick up another skein. If I wait too long, I might have trouble finding more of this colorway. And, the colorway is perfect for the Knitting Olympics because it feels very Scottish/Irish to me (and that’s something that has real resonance to me). It’s a soft green and rose blend that calls to mind tartan plaids. It may not have that feeling at all when it’s worked up, but every time I look at it, that’s what I think about, and I know that’s why I bought it. So, while I’d been really clear that I was NOT going to participate in the Knitting Olympics, I think I’m typing myself into them here. I wasn’t going to participate – even though I was going to loudly cheer many of you on! – simply because the reality is I don’t have time to set a crazy goal for myself that I know I can’t meet. There’s just too much going on here and probably won’t be nearly as much knitting time as I’d like. So, I was going to let the Olympics go on around me and just be a spectator. I’d even decided that instead of joining and starting something new, I’d instead make it my Olympics goal to “finish” a specific project I have on the needles and that is on the top of my list to finish sooner rather than later this year.
Last night, as we watched opening ceremonies (and scratched our heads at the really odd music selection, feeling someone had bought one of those 3-CD collections of disco from a late-night infomercial, and yes, we’d been talking about it when Bob Costas made a similar comment, making us really crack up at YMCA came on – of course, it was nice that “Freedom” was playing when the USA team made their entrance), I worked diligently on my Jaywalker. I’m very close to finished, and I was feeling proud of myself for working on that while we watched, and while I helped Matthew work on yet another LEGO “pod” creation next to me on the couch. (Pods rock. We have all 13 that have come out so far, and they are great fun.) Okay, so if I go home and am able to lay my hands on the Kiri pattern (I know I can print it out, but darn it, I think I’ve printed it twice – yes, “organize” the office and the slew of things I print/clip/stash to save was on my resolutions list for the year), then I’m going to cast on tonight. So, I won’t be formally participating… a) I didn’t sign up b) I didn’t cast on last night when the torch was lit.
But, in my heart, I may be in the fray. Hope you don’t mind, Mommio!
(I’m listening to Cast-On #9 now because in
#10 #11 she referenced some “issue” surrounding a comment about Stitch N Bitch in her essay in #9, and I know that I must have missed it. I recognize everything I’m hearing so far, so I’m thinking maybe I had to stop listening to that episode before it was over. At any rate, right now she’s talking about the Knitting Olympics as a form of knitting solidarity. And in #10 #11, she referenced the number of knitters on Team Wales (LOVE the dragon flag image; actually, we HAVE that Wales flag) being somewhere more than 150, I think. Cool. I’m sort of jealous of her pulling a geographic and moving to Wales!)
(*Update: Ahaha, I figured it out. I was listening to #11 today. Somehow I don’t have #10 on my iPod yet. So I missed that one. Hence my confusion over the comment I didn’t hear! Relistening to #9, however, gave me a good opportunity to again here the featured song by DaVinci’s Notebook - Enormous P**** - Can’t type it here or I’ll be even more inundated with blog spam! At any rate, I have, have, have to find a way to get the MP3 of that so I can send it to my brother!)